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The effects of date rape drugs vary depending on the victims' physical condition, health, dosage, how much food is in the stomach and possible combination with medication, alcohol or party drugs. Depending on dosage, the effects range from relaxation and sexual disinhibition to deep, potentially life-threatening unconsciousness.

Initial symptoms: dizziness and nausea

The drugs start taking effect approximately 10 to 20 minutes after ingestion. Sudden nausea and dizziness usually set in immediately after taking the drops. Often the victims assume that this is caused by alcohol, even if they haven't actually drunk that much.

At first the drugs can have a euphoric and disinhibiting effect. Victims report initially having flirted wildly or talked a mile-a-minute. They can still talk and move relatively normally for a while. From outside nothing about the victim's behaviour seems very unusual; at most, they might seem drunk or apathetic.

Victims become passive and easy to manipulate

Under the influence of these drugs, women and girls become totally passive and can be manipulated easily even before losing consciousness. Retroactively (after coming to) they can no longer remember this state of consciousness.

This explains why criminals can use date rape drugs in public so easily: they have enough time to talk to the victim or offer help, and then lead her away to a secluded place or outside location where they are easy prey.

Full effect: sudden tiredness

At a sufficiently high dosage, sudden tiredness sets in. The victims fall into a deep
sleep or lose consciousness, and only come to hours later.

The effect is amplified if combined with alcohol; the consequences can be very
dangerous: the victim may not only lose consciousness, but also stop breathing.


When they come to they often feel extremely hungover, feeble and completely
disoriented and dazed. Recollection of prior events is almost always vague or
fragmentary at best. Many victims experience partial or total blackout.

This is what professionals call anterograde amnesia: the drugs prevent new memories from being formed after the event that caused the amnesia, leading to partial or complete inability to recall the recent past. This is why many victims cannot, for example, remember how they got back home.

Many feel that something has happened, they discover injuries and pain that they
cannot explain. The uncertainty about what exactly happened as well as their memory gaps weighs heavily on many.